I absolutely love driving. It is something that I have enjoyed for many years. My work, as an area manager, in the steel industry involved a lot of travel over a large area. My average mileage was in excess of 40,000 miles each year and there was a great deal of freedom away from an office desk as well as a lot of responsibility in keeping appointments; all of which I enjoyed.
During that time on the roads I saw plenty of collisions between other vehicles. Some of those collisions were minor bumps and scrapes but others were major incidents. Some, I suppose, happened through complacency or carelessness and some must have happened through sheer recklessness of one driver or another; even both. But I cannot imagine that any one of them were caused deliberately through sheer intent. Why would anyone set out to do such a thing on purpose?
That set me thinking. When Jesus died on the cross at Calvary it was not just an accident that caused him to hang there and die. It was not something that happened as a consequence of carelessness in any form. It did not happen to him because of his preaching, his claims or his unpopularity. His death was not an accident from which God managed to salvage some good. When Jesus hung on the cross it was the fulfilment of all that He had come to earth to achieve. No one sent Jesus to the cross. He went to the cross. No one took the life of Jesus. He willingly gave his life. What took place at Calvary was destined to happen in full accord with the will of God. It was the aim of his sinless life. It was a deliberate collision between good and evil. It was with deliberate intent.
God set a deliberate collision course with sin even from before the foundation of the world. The result of this collision was profound. Jesus died as the lamb of God that was slain from before time began. What a collision that was, between good and evil, the day that Jesus willingly died for our sakes. It was so great that the whole earth was covered in darkness and shaken by an earthquake. Rocks were split asunder tombs were opened and those incredible curtains of the Temple were torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:45-54).
Any collision involves a cost. In the case of vehicle collision there is the cost of any repairs to the vehicles involved. There is the cost of an ambulance that might be called to the scene, or the fire service or the police service. There is the cost of hospitalisation and treatment to any or all of the injured persons in the accident. There certainly was a cost involved in the collision that God brought about that day at Calvary.
It cost God a lot to send his Son to die; in fact Isaiah prophesied that it pleased God to bruise him. It cost Jesus his life. That's why, with grateful hearts, we can say thank you to God for what it cost him and to Jesus that he took our place in redeeming sacrifice. We would never have survived such a collision on our own. The price of our redemption has been paid for us. The cost of it is beyond our imagination. The wonder of it is that it was no accident. It was deliberate.
There is always a consequence to any collision. In a vehicle accident someone may have points put on their driving license. They may be fined. They may even be banned from driving for a period of time. Such consequences are a penalty. It indicates guiltiness.
The consequences of the deliberate collision between God and sin are quite incredible. There is no penalty attached to us at all. In fact there is the benefit that God's enemy no longer has dominion over us because Jesus, our Saviour, has taken the penalty upon himself. Wow, what a Saviour!!!
When the centurion, and those that were with him around the cross, experienced the earthquake and saw what was taking place when Jesus died they were filled with awe and the centurion confessed, "Truly, this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:54) The apostle Paul was, later, to realise that the son of God loved him and gave himself for him. (Galatians 2:20) In fact the truth is that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever would believe in his love for them would have eternal life (John 3:16) but what a revelation that was for Paul when he saw that love for the whosoever became personal for him.
How blessed we are when we comprehend the truth. God intended this collision. It was his deliberate plan. The consequence? The destruction of the hold of sin and death. Surely that is enough to fill us with that same sense of awe that those around the cross experienced. May we, may I, never lose the wonder of the cross. Now there's a thought.
Galatians 2:26 I have been crucified with Christ. It's no longer I that live but Christ living in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.